Due to the amount of work and the continual search to find the right project, Matt Damon’s directorial debut continues to be put on hold. But audiences still want to see the acclaimed actor on the screen, and come early next year we will see him reunite with Gus Van Sant for another potentially award-winning piece.
The two come back together for a film called Promise Land. In it, the controversial use of fracking, a method for extracting oil and natural gas, takes center stage. Damon plays as a salesman who comes to a small town asking the residents if he could drill on their land. This dangerous practice has proven to have its negative effects on the land and the people living on it, and one man named Dustin (John Krasinski) convinces the townspeople to rally together to put a stop to it.
Check out the first trailer for Promise Land below.
Damon comes off as a smooth snake-oil salesman, promising that drilling for oil and natural gas will bring the townspeople riches beyond their wildest dreams. Frances McDormand, who provides some of the comedic moments in the trailer, joins him in his quest to secure enough signatures to get the rights to drill. Watching Damon and Krasinski engage each other the way they do in the film, could be just the thing that puts them in the running for a few awards.
The film may come off as some sort of PSA to stop the fracking, but Van Sant has found a way to make Promised Land a film about a man and his beliefs. There isn’t any really struggle of good versus evil, just two men fighting for what they passionately believe in. Damon wants to give the townspeople riches and Krasinski wants to protect the land and its people.
Promised Land opens in limited theaters in New York and Los Angeles on December 28, and then it expands into a full theatrical release in January.